A fruitful partnership with Costa
Andrew Fitzgerald, minister Central Baptist Church in Leicester, explains the benefits of taking a café-style church service into an actual café
For some time now we have offered at least some evening services in café-style Church. Generally speaking this is a more informal and discussion-based service for small groups, served with refreshments.
Whilst I sympathise with the concept and have enjoyed leading such a style of service I have been increasingly frustrated by the fact that (a) it was not held in a café and (b) not any more attractive to non-Christians or the unchurched.
Approaching a number of different cafés in the city centre and located near to church we originally sought to offer an adapted Alpha Course during Lent 2014 with live music, testimonies, talks and discussion.
The course itself was a success; we certainly welcomed more guests than achieved in a previous year. The final week was particularly striking when a Muslim family sung along to the live performance of ‘Jesus, be the centre’!
In some ways, the success of this particular course was the new relationship established with Costa Coffee and the Store Manager (a person of peace) who has remained favourable towards us and encouraged a monthly Sunday evening event called ‘Unplugged’, interweaving Christian performance and testimony with other local performers.
We have made fruitful contact with with non-Christians and are extremely grateful for the opportunity and for the support of EMBA in making it happen.
With the Store Manager recently taking compassionate leave, please pray for our relationship with other Costa staff. Pray that this opportunity will attract many non-Christians, a stepping-stone to Christ and His church. Join us if you can, on the first Sunday of every month in Costa Coffee (Haymarket, Leicester).
Andrew Fitzgerald is the minister of Central Baptist Church in Leicester